Somerset and Dorset Folk Diary


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Many of the venues listed on "Somerset and Dorset Folk Diary" also run many other, not folky, events. I thought it would be useful to list information and contact details so that people could find out about these, without cluttering up the main listing.

Arts Centres and other non-profit organisations

Bridgwater Arts Centre, Bridgwater

Bridgwater Arts Centre Logo

Bridgwater Arts Centre offers a wide range of arts performances andactivities, including plenty of folk music. The venue has an intimate hall for performances, plus a gallery and bar, and staff (many of whom are volunteers) pride themselves on the warmth of their welcome. There are regular gigs from well-known and up-&-coming folk artists, plus a monthly no-smoking Folk Club hosted by Bill & Jude Crawford on the first Wednesday of the month (not August or September). Check the website for more info.

Bridport Arts Centre, Bridport

Based in the heart of the West Dorset market town of Bridport, the historic venue has a 200-seat theatre, three gallery spaces plus a cafe and bar.

Fairly frequent folk events and lots of other things going on. The web site even has a forum for you to contribute to.

The David Hall, South Petherton

David Hall Logo

The David Hall is a old church or chapel, now deconsecrated, and provides a perfect venue for small or acoustic concerts. The centre is run by Petherton Arts Trust. A very wide variety of events.

The new web page now has online ticket purchase available.

Dorchester Arts Centre

Dorchester Arts Centre puts on a wide variety of shows and runs regular courses on things such as harmony singing, tai chi and the Dorchester Youth Theater. Some of the music evenings are independent productions.

Web Site

Halsway Manor, Crowcombe

Halsway Manor Logo

Halsway Manor is a National Centre for the Folk Arts. It's an independent charity providing a year round programme of events and learning activities in traditional folk music, dance, song, storytelling, folklore and related arts and crafts. All are welcome. Located in the Quantock Hills - an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - Halsway Manor is a wonderful example of a Somerset manor house with a fascinating history that goes back to the Domesday Book. Set in 6 acres of beautiful grounds with footpath access to the hills, our facilities include a ballroom/dining room, great hall, panelled library and bar, 27 bedrooms / 65 beds, camping, parking and great food. Our folk library houses a nationally important collection of books and recordings about traditional folk music, dance, song and folklore. Whether you are attending a residential course or just visiting for a day or an evening event, the Manor has a warm and friendly country house atmosphere enabling visitors of all ages to relax and feel at home.

Check their web page for more information.

The Meeting house, Ilminster

Another perfect venue for acoustic music of all varieties. The Meeting House, also a deconsecrated chapel, combines a performance arts venue, an art gallery, and a restaurant.

Web Site

The Merlin Theatre, Frome

Although not described as an arts centre, the Merlin has a much more eclectic programme than the other local commercial theatres (see below), so I've listed it in this section. As well as performances (concerts, plays and other events), there are films, workshops and educational and childrens events.

Commercial Venues

The Octagon Theatre, Yeovil

A commercial theatre, providing little folk music. However, it is a regular date on Fairport Convention's annual winter tour and other, similar, acts do occasionally visit. Lots of other stuff going on: pantomimes, comedy (e.g. Jethro), tribute bands, plays, the usual stock in trade of a provincial theatre.

There's a bar and disabled access is good. Plenty of car parking (free in the evening).

The Strode Theatre, Street

The Strode Theatre is a part of and is maintained by Strode College. They cover a variety of arts, including a large programme of films.

The Brewhouse Theatre, Taunton

A commercial theatre, like the Octagon, and with a similar programme. Again, plenty of parking, a bar and good disabled facilities.